Frequently Asked CSA Questions: Separating Fact From Fiction

FMCSA Announces Release of New Safety Management Cycle ResourcesThese days, it seems the FMCSA makes weekly changes to its CSA program and it’s easy to get confused.  At CDLLife, we try to bring you the most up-to-date information on how the changes affect you.  Recently, the FMCSA put out this helpful fact sheet to address the most frequently asked questions and myths about the program.

The facts:

Carriers do not inherit any of a newly hired driver’s past violations. Only the inspections and violations that a driver receives while driving for that carrier will be applied to a carrier’s SMS record and will remain on the carrier’s SMS record for 2 years unless it is overturned through appeal.

If a driver receives a citation while working for a carrier, the violation will stay on the carrier’s SMS record, even if the driver is terminated.   If a driver is terminated, the driver’s violations will not fall off of the carrier’s SMS record.

Tickets or warnings that CDL holders receive while operating their personal vehicles do not count in the SMS.

If a carrier or driver receives a violation in his or her crash or roadside inspection report that is not listed in the SMS Methodology severity tables, then the violations do not count towards the carrier’s or driver’s SMS record.

The FMCSA regulates all carriers that are over 10,000 lbs. and travel interstate, as well as carriers that haul hazardous materials intrastate.

CSA does not  currently have regulations addressing BMI or sleep apnea, nor does the FMCSA or CSA restrict who can operate a CMV based on the driver’s neck size, weight or BMI.

Tickets, citations, written warnings, etc. that are kept by a State and roadside inspections and crash reports that are kept in the SMS are separate.

Even though the FMCSA can place a driver out-of-service, neither the FMCSA nor the CSA program have the authority to revoke or suspend a driver’s CDL.  Only stage agencies have the authority to do that.

Carriers can review prospective employee’s “Driver Profiles” if the drivers have authorized the release of their information. These profiles are available to carriers through the FMCSA’s Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP). Drivers can view their own profiles. PSP is only available as a pre-screening tool and not to be used to evaluate current drivers. PSP was mandated by Congress and is not a part of CSA.

Drivers and carriers can dispute errors on their records.

Is there anything that you’re confused or not sure about that is part of the CSA system?  Let us know and we’ll try to help you with the answers.